Crystal Palace Monitoring Benfica B Talent Fabio Baptista

Crystal Palace are monitoring Benfica B youngster Fabio Baptista ahead of a potential future transfer.

The south London side spent big on winger Eberechi Eze from QPR this summer, while also managing to keep hold of star player Wilfried Zaha for another transfer window.

Both players have been in fine early-season form, with a combined nine goal contributions already.

Baptista can play right-back or on either wing | Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Despite this, reports in Italy's Calciomercato suggest that they have a new target on their agenda for the wide positions, with Baptista's versatility a big selling point.

The 19-year-old is currently being used as a right-back for Benfica's B team but is also capable of playing as a right winger and even as a left winger on occasion.

So far this season Baptista has made five appearances for Benfica and registered a single assist. He has also represented Portugal's Under-19's, earning his first cap this year.

Ruben Dias came through the Benfica academy and recently moved to the Premier League with Manchester City. | Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Benfica have seen their players picked off by the Premier League many times before, with the likes of Victor Lindelof, Ruben Dias, Carlos Vinicius, Gedson Fernandes and Raul Jimenez all moving in recent years.

With one of the best academies in Europe bringing through the likes of Dias, Renato Sanches, Bernardo Silva, Nelson Semedo and Joao Cancelo among others, it's no surprise that the top teams are looking for their future stars in the youth ranks of Lisbon.

As well as Palace, the report suggests that Aston Villa and Atalanta are also interested in taking Baptista away from the Estadio da Luz.

Baptista has played for Benfica in the UEFA Youth League | Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

While it's unclear if Benfica would be willing to sell or how much they'd take for him, a transfer is possible during both the January transfer window or next summer.

With Jorge Jesus recently returning to Benfica, his reputation with youth players progressing into the first team isn't the greatest. Baptista will surely be aware of such obstacles in his way and may be tempted to forge a path to senior football abroad.

Source : 90min